The 13 Wealth Management Issues Wealth Issue #1: InvestmentsA sound investment strategy begins with a detailed discussion of your risk tolerance, expectations and investment horizon, as well as potential liquidity events and funding needs. These factors will drive the creation of a portfolio with the asset allocation, diversification and tax management strategies necessary to address your objectives. Additionally, rather than strictly looking at performance, it’s much more important to look at your risk-adjusted performance. Managing risk and ensuring that any risk that is taken in your portfolio is rewarded by return is a key determinant in establishing your portfolio. Equally important, your portfolio needs constant attention and active management. Diversification and asset allocation do not guarantee a profit nor protect against loss in a declining market. They are methods used to help manage risk.Wealth Issue #2: InsuranceInsurance is an essential part of financial planning and a crucial part of estate planning that can help protect you against unforeseen events. At a minimum, that can mean protection against premature death, disability, liability and the possibility of enormous long-term healthcare costs. Used wisely, insurance also can help defray estate taxes and other major liabilities.Wealth Issue #3: Liabilities and DebtsHaving debt is not necessarily a bad thing, and eliminating it entirely isn’t necessarily a good thing. Managed prudently, debt – ranging from equity lines of credit and credit card debt to asset-secured loans – can be a useful financial tool to smooth cash flow crunches and help manage taxes.Wealth Issue #4: Retirement PlanningRetirement planning doesn’t involve just accumulating wealth. It also means prudently managing assets while in retirement and having a plan to pass that wealth on to heirs. Thankfully, today there is much greater breadth and flexibility in the financial vehicles used to fund retirement than the 401(k) or IRA. As life unfolds, tactical adjustments will need to be made to your plan. Solid retirement planning helps you navigate key stages of life smoothly and with peace of mind.Wealth Issue #5: Stock OptionsStock options are very different from traditional securities and demand special consideration and planning. It is important to examine the important attributes of your option program, your objectives for the use of the proceeds, and how best to exercise options in terms of timing, tax implications and transferability. All these components are important considerations as you seek to reap the most from your holdings and coordinate your stock option strategy with your overall investment and estate plans.Wealth Issue #6: Succession PlanningA well-formulated, long-range business succession plan gives your business continuity. It safeguards the interests of all its stakeholders and it can materially benefit your personal wealth and welfare. Businesses are as diverse as the people who own them, which is why we will work as an additional team member along with your accountant and attorney to ensure that all aspects of your succession plan are addressed and integrated into your overall personal financial strategy.Wealth Issue #7: Durable Power of AttorneyWho will have the legal authority to manage your business and legal affairs if you become mentally incapacitated? Unless a power of attorney is “durable,” it becomes void if you lose mental capacity. In that case, a court-appointed guardian or conservator would take charge of your assets. We work with your attorney to review and ensure that the appropriate documents are in place so that your assets are managed by the one person or persons whom you trust the most.Wealth Issue #8: Lifetime Gifting to Children and DescendantsTransferring wealth to heirs during life can take many forms and has many economic and emotional hurdles that need to be addressed. We work with your accountant and attorney to help navigate these many factors and the impact that gifting issues will have on your overall financial plan.Wealth Issue #9: Charitable Giving During LifeCharitable giving can play an important role in executing your financial plan, especially as a tax strategy to bring about future estate tax savings. High net worth individuals also have several options to minimize current tax obligations by monetarily supporting organizations and causes that they are passionate. Making maximum use of the charitable income tax deduction according to your personal preferences needs to be integrated across your entire financial and estate plan.Wealth Issue #10: Titling of AssetsThe proper titling of assets should be determined based on a range of factors. These include access to assets during lifetime, contingency for incapacity, transfer after death, tax advantages, probate, and protection of assets from liability during life and after death. The titling of your assets needs to match with the objectives of your overall financial plan.Wealth Issue #11: Selecting your Trustee and ExecutorSelecting your trustee and executor is likely one of the most important issues facing your estate. Issues surrounding trust compliance and estate settlement require the services of very specific trust and estate planning professionals. We will work with your entrusted professionals to ensure that your wishes are voiced and that there is continuity between your overall financial and estate plans.Wealth Issue #12: Distribution Planning to Family and HeirsAgain distributing wealth to your heirs is complicated and requires clear communications between a team of professionals to ensure your estate is transferred to your family in the way that you wish.Wealth Issue #13: Charitable Inclinations at DeathDistribution of wealth to charities allows an individual the ability to perpetuate a legacy of their life through their contributions to endeavors they are personally passionate. Additionally there are significant tax implications to the many gifting options that are available. Integrating your gifting strategy with your overall financial plan in the most efficient way possible ensures that your wealth will continue to make a difference for generations to come.